Powerchip Semiconductor to set up chip factory in Japan

SBI Holdings, a financial firm, has announced its collaboration with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing to establish a chip factory in Japan, aiming to revitalize the country’s chip industry.
BE SemiconductorTo facilitate this venture, SBI will establish a company dedicated to planning and fundraising. It will also assist Powerchip in securing government subsidies and identifying suitable locations for semiconductor production, catering to automakers and industrial machinery manufacturers. Additionally, a research lab will be established to drive the development of advanced chips.

During a joint press conference, Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings, expressed enthusiasm about the timing of entering the chip manufacturing sector. Kitao highlighted the potential opportunities and emphasized the benefits of this strategic move. Powerchip is currently evaluating three or four potential sites, and construction could begin within two years before commencing chip production.

SBI’s partnership with Powerchip aligns with Japan’s efforts to attract foreign chip companies by offering substantial subsidies. These initiatives aim to ensure a stable supply of crucial components for Japanese car manufacturers and technology companies in response to the growing global demand for semiconductors.

Notably, Japan has already committed 400 billion yen ($2.8 billion) to support Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) in constructing a plant in Kumamoto prefecture, which will supply semiconductors to Sony Group and auto parts maker Denso.

Moreover, subsidies have been extended to memory chip makers Kioxia Corp and Western Digital to expand their production capacity in Japan, while U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology has received financial support to enhance its plant in Hiroshima.

Japan’s investment in its chip industry extends further with the funding of a domestic venture called Rapidus. Collaborating with IBM, Rapidus aims to produce advanced logic chips by the mid-2020s.

Powerchip, known for providing contract manufacturing services for logic and memory chips related to power management, serves prominent customers like MediaTek, Taiwan’s largest mobile phone chip designer. The partnership with SBI Holdings signifies a significant opportunity for Powerchip to expand its operations and contribute to the development of Japan’s chip industry.